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AL-TN Association Meeting 2011 



7/3/13 9:12 PM 



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YOU ARE HERE: HOME ► CONFERENCE NEWS ►AL-TN ASSOCIATION MEETING 2011 



AL-TN Association Meeting 2011 



BSn 




The Alabama-Tennessee Association 
Alabama-Tennessee Association Holds 
Annual Meeting Hosted by Pilgrim 
Congregational UCC, Chattanooga 

On Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14, 
the Alabama-Tennessee Association 
gathered under the leadership of their 
retiring moderator Don Clark. The event 
was organized around the theme of 
exploring restorative justice, and Sala 
Nolan of Justice and Witness Ministries of 
the UCC was a keynoter. The meeting also had workshops on subjects of the 
Tennessee Death Penalty, Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, Gender, Race and 
Incarceration, and Torture in our Time. 

Following a time of active engagement 
with the issues, the Association gathered 
to conduct business, electing Gary 
Meyers, pastor of Trinity Congregational 
UCC, Athens, AL as their new moderator. 
They passed a resolution advocating for 
reform in the criminal justice system and 
affirming restorative justice principles. 



Debbie Spearman, who attended the AL- 
TN meeting, reported on the workshops 
that took place. 
1 . Female Incarceration and What We 










Can Do About It by Rev. Sala W. J. Nolan Gonzales, Minister of Criminal Justice and 
Human Rights of the UCC. Sala outlined her experiences working within the penal 
system, especially with female prisoners. 

2. Broken Beyond Repair: The Reality of Tennessee's Death Penalty by Denver 
Schimming, member at Holy Trinity Community Church UCC in Nashville, is the Field 
Organizer for Tennessean's for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Denver shared the 
facts about the failures of the system but also related personal stories of families of 
victims as well as those executed. He gave examples of how everyday citizens can 
get involved to change the current system. 

3. Victim/Offender Reconciliation Program: Providing Healing and New Life for 
Victims and Offenders by Rev. Leonard Stark, President and founder of the 
Victim/Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP). Rev. Stark is a retired UCC pastor 
and member of Pleasant Hill Community Church in Tennessee. The program of 
Cumberland County Tenn. is 22 years old. Mediation is the central focus through face- 
to-face meetings between victims and offenders in court-referred cases. The success 
of the Mediation helps keep many out of the penal system and provides peaceful 
resolution to their conflicts. 



UCC News 

UCC Newsroom 

Headlines from the United 
Church of Christ 

A 'Just Peace' future: Part 2 
Following the recently 
concluded World Council of 
Churches' International 
Ecumenical Peace Convocation 
held in Kingston, Jamaica, 
United Church News asked 
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite to 
reflect on the history, progress 
and potential future of the Just 
Peace movement. 




PROGRESSIVE 
RENEWAL 



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AL-TN Association Meeting 2011 



7/3/13 9:12 PM 




4. Torture in Our Time: 

Preventing Torture 

Everywhere by Rev. Don 

Smith and Rev. George 

Hartz. Rev Smith and Rev. 

Hartz are officers of Action 

by Christians Against 

Torture - USA (TN). Rev. 

Smith presented the 

International agreements that deal with torture and how the United States is choosing 

not to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. 

The AL-TN Church and Ministry Committee has taken the following actions: 

■ Renewed the licenses to minister to the following: 

Cindy Andrews-Looper, pastor, Holy Trinity Community Church, Nashville 
Michael Garrett, pastor, First Congregational UCC, Montgomery 
Reginald Holloway, pastor, First Congregational UCC, Talladega. 

■ Transferred the Ordained Ministerial Standing of Chrissie Cataldo, a member of 
Church of the Savior UCC, Knoxville, to Eastern Association, Illinois Conference. 

■ Voted to grant Ecclesiastical Endorsement to Lillian Hallstrand Strahine in APC. 
Lillian is a chaplain at Vanderbilt Hospital and a member of Brookmeade 
Congregational UCC, Nashville. 

■ Voted to grant member in discernment status to Scott Williamson, a member of Holy 
Trinity Community Church, Nashville and appointed Robert Hurst, the pastor of United 
Church of Huntsville, Alabama as his adviser. 

■ Voted to grant privilege of call to Linda Miner, associate pastor at Pilgrim UCC, 
Birmingham. 



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